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MARGINAL COST AND DIMINISHING MARGINAL RETURNS: Decreasing then increasing marginal cost that gives rise to a U-shaped marginal cost curve reflects increasing then decreasing marginal returns. In particular the decreasing marginal returns is caused by the law of diminishing marginal returns. As such, the law of diminishing marginal returns affects not only the short-run production of a firm but also the cost of production in the short run.

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IMPORT: Goods and services produced by the foreign sector and purchased by the domestic economy. In other words, imports are goods purchased from other countries. The United States, for example, buys a lot of the stuff produced within the boundaries of other countries, including bananas, coffee, cars, chocolate, computers, and, well, a lot of other products. Imports, together with exports, are the essence of foreign trade--goods and services that are traded among the citizens of different nations. Imports and exports are frequently combined into a single term, net exports (exports minus imports).

     See also | foreign sector | domestic | foreign trade | export | net exports | balance of trade | free trade | trade barriers | quota | comparative advantage | competition | market control |


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LABOR FORCE

The total number of people in an economy, society, or country willing and able to exert mental and/or physical efforts in productive activities. The labor force is a more technical term for the labor resource or labor supply. It includes both employed workers and unemployed workers. An official variation of this term is civilian labor force. While labor force may or may not include military personnel, the civilian labor force explicitly excludes the military. Labor and labor resources are the theoretical terms that economists like to banter about. Labor force and civilian labor force are the terms of choice for government policy makers, data-crunchers, and others who need precise labor resource numbers.

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